The Road to Redemption in Marriage

We sat in shock as Maggie shared the tragedy that had ripped her heart wide open. It was a story of the deceit, hidden secrets, a double life almost, that took place around her, and it all came crashing down with one powerful knock on the door. There was no more secrecy, no more hiding in darkness, only the consequences of the choices that her husband had made. She wondered aloud to us if she would be strong enough for the challenge ahead.

After 14 years of marriage, she was loved well by her husband. Their marriage hadn’t been easy, but there was no doubt of his love. Thus, the early morning knock on the door by the detective was completely shocking to her because while life wasn’t perfect, she had no idea that his secrecy had taken on this form, requiring legal intervention.

Over the next few months there were phone calls to be made, there were meetings and required expenses, and there was fear, Maggie said, lots of fear. She faced difficult and embarrassing conversations with many, including those who questioned why she didn’t pack up her husband and ship him back home – or why she didn’t take the kids and hit the road. Why would anyone stay when someone else has almost utterly destroyed life?

She told us that her answer wouldn’t be enough for us.

She wasn’t even sure it was enough for her own heart in the midst of all the pain.

What could possibly entice her to stand beside her husband despite all the wrongdoing?

“The grace of God,” she stated, firmly and with a strong voice.

“The redemptive grace of God that is freely available for even the worst of sinners.”

Maggie's Road to Redemption - surviving a tragedy in marriage and continuing to move forward in faith

 

Some who questioned Maggie’s reasons laughed right in her face, or shook their head at her seemingly-misguided judgment.

Yet she stood, asking, begging and almost daring God to prove Himself faithful if He was, indeed, asking her to remain steadfast in her marriage.

Maggie described the peace that God gave her in the midst of the tumult she faced. It was more than just a feeling – you could tell her peace was soul-deep, a peace that passed understanding. We certainly could not understand it, others would not attempt to understand it, and she herself was blown away by the power of such peace.

“It’s God’s hand on my head,” she whispered, “keeping me right where I am, and not letting me move. I believe He is asking me to be still and to watch while He works in my husband and in the various circumstances of our lives.”

A glance around the table revealed a mix of emotions, mostly disbelief. Maggie was the good one – the one who was raised well, educated well, the one who balanced and juggled everything that was thrown at her. Yet, we now witnessed a different view of her – complete brokenness. She was stuck in this mess, unless she left. She had an easy ticket out, but chose not to use it.

And with that, the questions swirled in my head:

Why? Why did her husband have to go and mess up so badly? Why did she choose to stick it out? Why not check out of her marriage and move on to a life without the legal hassle, where she could move past the loss and rebuild her own life?

I heard her say that she had no choice but to trust God through this.

But really, who has that much faith in God?

Maggie explained that she wanted her husband to experience the grace of God’s forgiveness and redemption in his own life. It may be the last chance he would ever get, given the situation he had to overcome.

“God has given me hope from the very first moment,” she shared, while gently adjusting the wedding band on her finger. “I trusted Jesus completely when my eternal salvation was on the line. This is my beloved, with salvation – both spiritually and physically – on the line. If I truly believe that God can do what He says He will do, why wouldn’t I stay to see God work?”

“It’s an unpopular decision and I know it,” Maggie whispered.

She spoke of loss that resulted from her decision to stay, of friends who chose to let go, of mental, emotional and spiritual turmoil.

Yet in the next breath, though her voice shook, she told us of catching a glimpse of Jesus every step of the way. She shared about gifts of grace and mercy that were extended to her by complete strangers and by family and friends.

Maggie’s situation doesn’t deserve the favor of God – at least that seems to be the general opinion of most, maybe even my opinion, too, if I’m being honest.

But that’s the thing about grace – it’s undeserved.

Despite the mess that Maggie shared with us, she shared an even greater measure of the grace of God within her marriage. Maybe it’s because she asked for grace, time and time again, that it was heaped upon her in overflowing measure.

Or maybe it’s simply the way of God – full of grace and mercy for those in need.

Maggie’s story is a difficult one, one that won’t be completed for her anytime soon. The worst is hopefully behind her, but the future remains uncertain.

For all that she has endured, for all the doors that have closed, she remains confident that God is moving her family in a new direction. While she’s not sure what that is, she has confidence that God will open new doors at just the right time.

Maggie’s confidence in God? It’s unshakeable. Unwavering.

The reason for that confidence?

Purely, the grace of God.

Support for women who are standing for their marriage, trusting God to restore and redeem.

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*names have been changed to respect privacy

Linking up with Holley Gerth at #CoffeeForYourHeart, Jaime Wiebel at #SittingAmongFriends, Alisa Nicaud at Salt & Light, Suzie Eller at #LiveFreeThursday, Susan B. Mead at #DanceWithJesus, Arabah Joy at Grace & Truth, Kelly Balarie at #RaRaLinkup, with Crystal Storms at #HeartEncouragement

Comments

  1. I love this story.
    That is all.
    Except to say that my favorite part is Maggie’s unshakeable faith on display. Faith that didn’t make sense to many, but is being proven by the harvest. <3
    Jennifer recently posted…Hope for the Parents of a Strong Willed ChildMy Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    I always appreciate your kind words, your support & encouragement! Thank you! <3

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  2. Kristie Malek says:

    God’s grace is sufficient. Beautiful testimony. Beautifully written. Glory to God.

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Thank you! It’s a privilege to share her story!

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  3. Charisse says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! I can completely relate to Maggie, not only with my husband but also with my son. God’s grace knows no bounds, and I believe we are called to extend that grace to others the way that He extends it to us. I will pray for continued strength for Maggie. ♥

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    Rebekah Reply:

    That’s so true. What I find from hearing her story is the level of surprise from people who know grace, have received grace and yet can’t understand why she extends grace. She’s got something good with God to be able to stand her ground! Thank you, Charisse!

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  4. I’ve lived this story. I’ve sat in that seat and wondered why I stayed except that I felt like God wanted me to. While my situation didn’t see that man saved or even our marriage reconciled, I believe God gave me the strength to love the unlovable through his actions towards me. When all was said and done, I felt like I didn’t leave anything on the table. I gave it all. He still walked away. But I know in my heart that I obeyed God, and demonstrated grace even though he chose not to accept it.
    Jennifer DeFrates/Heaven Not Harvard recently posted…Tomato Plant ChildrenMy Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    And that’s really what God asks of us, eh? To give our all – to not leave anything on the table. And during – and after that – to trust Him fully! Thanks, Jennifer!

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  5. Exactly one year ago today, I experienced the same thing. Mine wasn’t from a knock at the door, but an email I came across while looking through my husband’s messages. That instant changed my life forever. It leveled me to my core. But as you so beautifully wrote, God also gave me a peace and told me to hold on. He has restored my husband and our marriage. Our marriage is so much better now, but we still have those days that the devil tries to remind us of my husband’s guilt and shame. Thank you for sharing this and reminding me of how far we have come. And, more importantly, how amazing God’s grace really and truly is!
    Lori recently posted…Dressed for Success {Grace & Truth}My Profile

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  6. Great story. Marriage is not easy, but there is no other relationship where we experience God’s grace so keenly. Maggie is a strong woman, someone to be admired. I have had to make some hard choices in my own marriage, but I am glad I have had the Word of God to fall back on.

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Yes, without the Word of God for our hope and encouragement, we would be lost. How wonderful that God loves us and provides direction for us. Praying for your marriage today, Sheila.

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  7. WOW! This is powerful! Daring God to show Himself faithful… bold words! I’m lifting Maggie and all those women standing firm in God’s faithfulness for their messy marriages up in prayer today. Blessings!

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  8. Wow! What a powerful testament of grace and redemption. It shows us all what it means to live out our marriage vows and fight for our marriage.

    Salt & Light linkup

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  9. Powerful! May God richly bless her for her obedience and trust in God so that she would be able to extend grace.
    Jerralea recently posted…GiftsMy Profile

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  10. Amazing how love that is undeserved puts the love of God on display. I’m reminded today of Hosea’s story in the OT.
    Michele Morin recently posted…Is Reading the Bible Different from Reading Any Other Book?My Profile

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  11. I just love how Maggie stood firm in the Lord despite those who questioned her. May these words encourage those who need to remember that God is faithful and redemption is possible. This post will be featured at Faith Along the Way for the Grace & Truth linkup this week.

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Thank you, Sarah Ann! Yes – may these words be an encouragement and a reminder that God can redeem!

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  12. You are so right, Rebekah! What an amazing amount of trust and obedience, a combination that can improve any relationship.

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Trackbacks

  1. […] week’s feature from Rebekah Hallberg of Sharing Redemption’s Story is the perfect reminder that redemption in marriage IS possible!  God still restores and reconnects […]

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